The 2018 Ford Mustang will roll into Aussie driveways from mid-year, bringing significant new changes and an extra dose of ‘bang for your buck’. The styling has been altered, the interior updated and most importantly power is up, especially for the V8 GT. The nation’s best-selling sports car will now be a far more engaging and rewarding drive.

Updates Galore

A raft of innovative features will make owners of first generation Mustangs more than a tad envious. The car’s exterior scores a lower looking bonnet and grille, playing around with the famous front end is certainly a risk and some may not fully appreciate the new look. The bonnet air-intakes have been moved slightly while all Mustang variants will score LED front lights. Tri-bar lighting that Aussie Mustangs have missed out on until now are also standard.

At the rear-end, the V8 GT has been given the quad style exhaust it’s always deserved, setting it apart from the rest of the range. EcoBoost models gain new wheel designs plus factory option ‘Lustre Nickel’ alloy 19-inch wheels.

The interior, which did need dressing up, has been given nicer touch points and is said to offer a ‘more premium’ feel. This has been achieved via the use of a new hand-stitched wrap with contrast stitching across the centre console. The door handles, rings and bezels around the cabin are now dressed in aluminium.

The seats have been updated with new patterns while the option of Recaro sports seats is now something to think about. Current Mustangs basically have no personalisation prospects, so fans can now make their Stang somewhat unique. You can even throw in a US-market sourced rear wing spoiler.

On the technology front it’s a bonanza of changes. The instrument cluster includes a 12-inch all-digital display, Ford says one that’s inspired by the GT race car. Like many digital instrument clusters you can customise it, in three different ways. The colours and gauges will reflect your mood and driving mood, offering Normal, Sport and Track themes.

Sounds Good

What I’m personally looking forward to is a reworked new soundtrack, one that can shuffle between Quiet and all out-Track mode. This four-mode active valve exhaust system will be standard on all GT cars. Track Apps will also offer the opportunity to keep track of your performance.

The current Mustang doesn’t exactly set the world on fire in the handling stakes, so new shocks have been added to all models, sharpening up a package that needed more rewarding body control. Yet another option will be MagneRide™ damper technology, ripped straight from the US Mustang Shelby GT350. It can read your driving behaviour up to 1,000 times per second.

Safer with more tech

Safety has been a bit of a drama for the Mustang, mostly because of the absence of must-have driver assist technology. Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection has arrived as standard. Other indulgences include Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane-Departure Warning and Lane-Keeping Assist.

Ford SYNC® 3 has found its way into the 2018 model offering Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, that won’t cost you an extra cent. Hello BMW?

But who cares about all of the above when the claim of the ‘fastest Mustang’ ever can be proudly promoted. The 5.0-litre V8 has been uprated to 339kW, up 33kW and now offers 556Nm or an increase of 26Nm. As with the new Ford Ranger Raptor I saw in Bangkok last week a new 10-speed SelectShift automatic transmission is paired with both the EcoBoost and V8 units. A six-speed manual option still exists for all models.

But the price?

Pricing for the new line-up before on road costs sits as follows. But keep this in mind, the 2018 Mustang isn’t the same bargain performance offering as before. Based on my calculations prices are up by between $4000 to close to $9000.

  • Ford Mustang EcoBoost Fastback (manual) $49,990 MLP
  • Ford Mustang EcoBoost Fastback (automatic) $52,990 MLP
  • Ford Mustang EcoBoost Convertible (automatic) $59,490 MLP
  • Ford Mustang GT Fastback (manual) $62,990 MLP
  • Ford Mustang GT Fastback (automatic) $66,259 MLP incl LCT
  • Ford Mustang GT Convertible (automatic) $74,709 MLP incl LCT

  • 2018 Ford Mustang – Key Factory Options
  • OTT Stripes – black $650
  • OTT Stripes (Fastback only) – white $650
  • Single-wing rear spoiler (Fastback only) $750
  • Recaro leather seats (Fastback only) $3,000
  • 19-inch Lustre Nickel alloys (EcoBoost only) $500
  • 19-inch Forged alloys (GT Only) $2,500
  • MagneRide™ Suspension $2,750